Big news here to medical marijuana users.

The state has now:

1. Extended the expiration dates on cards expiring in the 30-day period until emergency declaration is concluded and crisis passes.

2. Allowed “telehealth,” rather than in-person visits, to get patient certificates for medical marijuana until the emergency declaration is concluded.

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April is a critical month because more than 10,000 certificates are up for renewal on account of a rush to obtain them before the first MMJ became available in May last year.

Since then, almost $60 million has been spent on nearly five tons of medical marijuana products. Green Springs Medical of Hot Springs remains the sales leader among 21 dispensaries, but the Releaf Center in Bentonville has now moved into second place.

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The rule change is possible under an earlier executive order of the governor. The department explains:

On March 17, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson issued Executive Order 20-06, ordering state agencies to “identify provisions of any regulatory statute, agency order or rule that in any way prevents, hinders, or delays the agency’s ability to render maximum assistance” to Arkansans during the COVID-19 health emergency. The Order instructed state agencies to identify regulatory statutes, orders, and rules that are hindering or preventing the rapid response necessary to combat the spread of and recovery from COVID-19. The Order requires agencies to identify any such statutes, orders, or rules on its website. Once posted, the statute, rule, or order is deemed suspended for thirty (30) days from the effective date of EO 20-06.